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Morning Coffee – Mon, Jul 15

You ready for Kosta? | How about Boucher? | Want to see a drawing? (officially in the weak MC content period)

NBA Summer League 2019: What Chris Boucher’s development could mean for his future with the Toronto Raptors | Canada

He’s young in a sense of experience, but his unique path to the NBA means that he will be turning 27-years-old midway through his third season out of college. At this point, it’s unclear just how much he would be able to bulk up in order to take more contact.

Working in his favour is that he is younger than both Ibaka and Gasol, who are players that he could spare in the rotation by spending time at the centre position. Reports have indicated that the two are in the team’s plans for the upcoming season, but with the team’s sights set on the postseason, Boucher could be looked upon to lighten the workload of each player.

With a year of development under the Raptors staff under his belt, Boucher has made great strides in his game and has an evolving understanding of the team’s system, as evidenced by his performance in the Summer League. After winning G League MVP, he said that this past season he ‘did things he did not know he could.’ Boucher’s ability to space the floor as a stretch big could prove to be useful for the Raptors this upcoming season as the offence will heavily rely on spacing for Siakam’s drives and Lowry’s playmaking.

There are a number of variables in play, but Chris Boucher has done all that he is supposed to do in order to improve and stay ready for an increased role in the upcoming NBA season. As more changes are sure to come with time, the Canadian’s role could grow bigger sooner rather than later.

NBA Free Agency 2019: Toronto Raptors have reportedly expressed ‘preliminary interest’ in centre Kosta Koufos | Canada

As it stands, Toronto’s roster has four players that are 6-foot-10 or taller: Chris Boucher, Dewan Hernandez, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. Bringing in a 7-footer in Koufos would add much-needed size to the Raptors, who would have more personnel to match the size present on the rosters of the Bucks, 76ers, Nets and Pacers among other Eastern Conference teams.

NBA Free Agency Rumour: Toronto showing interest in signing centre Kosta Koufos? – Raptors HQ

That said, as we saw throughout the playoffs, what Toronto could more likely use is a burly power forward. That’s not to say the Raptors have no options at the 4-spot, it’s just that other than Pascal Siakam, there are no true battle-tested 4s on the roster. Toronto came to rely on Kawhi Leonard or Siakam there, with some use of dual-centre lineups featuring Gasol and Ibaka when really necessary. The healthy return of OG Anunoby ameliorates this somewhat for Toronto, but he’s not a true PF either. Kostas on a one- or two-year deal doesn’t really rock the boat much, but he also doesn’t address this need.

NBA Rumors: Kosta Koufos Drawing Interest from Bucks, Raptors, Pistons, Kings | Bleacher Report

“From my perspective, knowing your role, knowing your situation and maximizing your role, whatever time is given to you,” he said. “Whether it’s playing well on the defensive end or getting guys open with screens or scoring when the opportunity is there, it’s just being the best player you can be in whatever time is given to you.”

A return to Sacramento could make some sense, though Dewayne Dedmon is currently locked in as the team’s starting center and players like Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III are both capable of playing the 5 if the Kings choose to play small.

Toronto Raptors: 3 takeaways from 2019 NBA offseason – Hoops Habit

3. A quiet offseason could mean a loud trade deadline
Everywhere you looked this summer, major players were leaving their homes for new digs, including but not limited to Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the board man himself.

Most of the teams bringing in superstar players presume that their chances to win a championship in 2019-20 skyrocketed over the summer. On the opposite ends, the teams losing those players may be in some trouble.

The silver lining of that situation — and the parity at the top of the league expected for the coming year — is that it will be a seller’s market at the trade deadline next season. Teams trading away contributors are set to reap major rewards.

Obviously, the Raptors don’t want to be in that position and may not even anticipate being in that situation. Coming off of a title run, expectations are high that they can make another one, even without Leonard and Green.

If the Raptors stumble out of the gates, however, teams could be lining up for the services of expiring deals attached to Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol, giving Toronto an opportunity to accelerate towards their next title window.

There’s really only one player who should be untouchable for Toronto…

Raptors to sign Dewan Hernandez to partially guaranteed 3-year deal – The Rookie Wire

The 6-foot-10 forward has solid athleticism and could develop into a big man that can work down in the post. Hernandez averaged 12.8 points, seven rebounds and 1.8 assists in five Summer League games for the Raptors, scoring in double figures in all but one game.

After agreeing to a three-year deal, it is unclear how many years — if any — are guaranteed. The Raptors may have given Hernandez a full year guaranteed, or just guaranteed a portion of his salary for the first year. In any case, it seems likely he’ll spend some time with the Raptors 905 in the G League.

Lakers Rumors: Phil Handy to join Frank Vogel’s coaching staff – Silver Screen and Roll

Players around the league hold Handy in high regard, as reflected in one of the most popular images of the 2018 offseason. Handy had a workout with his former pupil James, along with Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard (and Cedi Osman), and the picture of that event caused a storm on social media.

Source: Lakers to hire Raptors assistant Handy – ESPN

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to hire former Toronto Raptors assistant Phil Handy as an assistant coach, a source told ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Handy will be a front-of-the-bench assistant under new Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.

Handy has been an assistant coach with the Raptors (2018-19) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-18) after working in player development for the Lakers (2011-13). The former Hawai’i star guard has coached as an assistant in the NBA Finals the past five seasons, winning two titles.

Top 10 NBA Players To Never Have A Triple-Double – Fadeaway World

Pascal Siakam’s NBA journey has been one for the ages for sure. He went from barely seeing the floor to being the second-best player on a championship team, and he’s only getting started. Even so, he must do a better job at creating for others if he wants to log his first career triple-double, as he’s only handed out 7 assists as a career-high.

Let me know if I missed any Raptors-content, anything…please… [email protected]

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